The Zeleza Post
For a massive majority in Brazilian society, racism just doesn't exist. For many blacks, too. But, more fantastic than that: At the same time it is invisible, it is naturally practiced by the majority of the white population. And they don't even notice what they are doing. By Italo Ramos.
From August 31st through September 8, 2001, the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance (WCAR), organized by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, was held in Durban, South Africa, with the attendance of numerous government representatives and delegates from NGOs and other organizations.
Over 3,000 NGO delegates from around the world converged in Durban to make their struggles and the injustices afflicting their regions and countries known to the world. Prior to the Conference, a Youth Summit and the NGO Forum were held in the same city.
Both WCAR delegates and participants at the NGO Forum faced the challenge of finding common ground on a host of sensitive issues connected with racism, racial discrimination, and xenophobia, and achieving consensus to draw up their respective Declarations and Plans of Action. Governments came face to face with
a number of people who have been direct victims of racism and injustice, who did not hesitate to communicate to their delegates the pressing nature of the matters under discussion.
Controversies arose throughout the Conference over how certain issues, such as the Middle East conflict, indigenous rights, and the Holocaust, were to be treated. As the event came to a close (with Israel and the United States withdrawing their delegations), a declaration was signed which evidences a general concern over human diversity, its richness, its conflicts and potential solutions. The declaration includes conclusions on each issue on the agenda, the identification of slavery and the slave trade as a "crime against humanity", and theestablishment of a programme of action adhered to by the participants.
Groups that suffer racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and other related forms of intolerance were also identified, including Africans and people of African descent, Asians and Asian descendants, indigenous peoples, migrants, refugees, women, children, Roma, and people infected and affected by HIV/AIDS.
The main issues discussed were:
- Slavery and the slave trade;
- Migrants, refugees and asylum-seekers;
- The impact of multiple forms of discrimination against women. Gender and racism;
- Discrimination on the basis of caste;
- Indigenous peoples;
- The withdrawal of the US and Israel.
Following the Conference, several events have been organized by both the United Nations and NGOs and other organizations, with the purpose of monitoring the implementation of the resolutions adopted at Durban.
The Declaration and the Programme of Action are based on the understanding that
they reflect the regional processes and that the voices of the victims of racism,
racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance must be heard. It was a
courageous attempt to unite the voices and battles of all victim groups into one
United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) web site with
exhaustive information on the World Conference against Racism, the International
Convention, the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, as well as
documents on the Third Decade to Combat Racism and Racial Discrimination
(1993-2003), along with other interesting links.
The General Assembly adopted a resolution on the struggle against racism, racial
discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance and the comprehensive
implementation of and follow-up to the Durban Declaration and Programme of
At its 39th plenary meeting, on July 25, 2002, the Economic and Social Council,
taking note of the Commission on Human Rights' resolution N° 2002/68 of April 25,
2002, approved the decision of the Commission to establish an intergovernmental
working group, with the following mandate (see full text).
The 67TH Session of the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination that took place 2-19 August 2005 identified fifteen "indicators" and related follow-up procedures to help "detect and prevent at the earliest possible stage developments in racial discrimination that may lead to violent conflict and genocide." (PDF document). September 2005.
It focuses on activities undertaken by States, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations bodies, specialized agencies, international and regional organizations, national human rights institutions, non-governmental organizations and youth groups and organizations to implement the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action. September 2004, pdf format.
A list of the principal international and regional instruments to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. It also outlines the scope of protection against racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance provided by the main international human rights instruments.
Reports from the Regional Workshop on "Strategies for the Adoption and Implementation of Policies of Affirmative Action for People of African descent of the Latin American and Caribbean regions", convened by the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights and held in Montevideo, Uruguay, May 7-9, 2003.
The African descent population in the Americas today numbers over 140 million, one third of the continent’s 450 million people. Slavery in the Americas saw 15 million slaves violently uprooted from their lands in Africa.
The most significant aspect to distinguish Brazilian and American racism, in its most generalized form, is the concrete nature of American racism, in contrast with the subjective character, the fluid state, the invisibility of Brazil's. The difference is that, in the US, nobody would dare to deny its existence, but in Brazil, racism is the essence of a substantive very...abstract.
This is an original survey of the economic and social history of slavery of the Afro-American experience in Latin America and the Caribbean. The focus of the book is on the Portuguese, Spanish, and French-speaking regions of continental America and the Caribbean. It analyzes the latest research on urban and rural slavery and on the African and Afro-American experience under these regimes. It approaches these themes both historically and structurally. The historical section provides a detailed analysis of the evolution of slavery and forced labor systems in Europe, Africa, and America. The second half of the book looks at the type of life and culture which the salves experienced in these American regimes. 2007.
The trafficking of Africans over many centuries was one of the greatest crimes against humanity. The current commemorative events, which are organised for a variety of purposes, at least provide the opportunity for widespread discussion. What is vital is that the myths are shattered and disinformation combated.
The trafficking of Africans over many centuries was one of the greatest crimes against humanity. The current commemorative events, which are organised for a variety of purposes, at least provide the opportunity for widespread discussion. What is vital is that the myths are shattered and disinformation combated. We must ensure that appropriate and adequate reparations are made for slavery, colonialism and all crimes against humanity. People themselves must draw the appropriate lessons from history, one of the most important being that it is people that make and change history; and that therefore, we are our own liberators. May 2007.
Being the first system of globalization in history, the slave trade and consequently slavery were, from the 16th to the 19th century, "the greatest tragedy in the history of humanity in terms of scale and duration", according to French historian Jean- Michel Deveau. This tragic episode in human history calls into question the cloak of silence which shrouded the subject for so many years. This UNESCO'S project has three major objectives: to break the silence surrounding the slave trade and slavery through the historical study of the causes and dynamics of the transatlantic slave trade; the clarification of the consequences and interactions resulting from the slave trade and to contribute to the establishment of a culture of tolerance and peaceful coexistence between races and peoples.
The proclamation by the United Nations General Assembly of the year 2004 as International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition marks the bicentenary of the proclamation of the first black state, Haiti, symbol of the struggle and resistance of slaves, and triumph of the principles of liberty, equality, dignity and the rights of the individual. Exhaustive added information on history of slavery, slave trade, general history on Africa, of the Caribbean and news.